Caledon Community Services invests in our children and youth

by Fr. Larry Leger, Board Member, Caledon Community Services

When I think of children and youth, the thing that comes to mind first is their potential.

Over the past few years, Caledon Community Services’ board of directors has been intentional in making investments in Caledon that raise our community’s shared potential. We have invested our staff and volunteer time, and our fundraising, to support initiatives that lend a hand to our services and to our sister agencies’ services. From the Exchange — which gathers many organizations together under one hub to provide services and activities — to the new Evolve Clothing store, CCS is all about encouraging, building and fostering potential.

For years, a community institution was Chez Thrift. Located on Highway 50 for the past decade, it contained a small classroom that housed our LIFE for Youth program. This program offers life and job skills to Caledon’s youth. These are our community’s kids who are making a commitment to invest in their potential. All of them receive placements throughout CCS; they learn about marketing, health services, seniors’ care, fundraising, food support and many other areas of CCS’ operations. Some of them receive training in Chez Thrift and the ReUstore, and then translate that training into placements that we arranged in businesses throughout Caledon.

LIFE for Youth is a six-month program. It provides opportunities for our community’s young people to gain employability and life skills through innovative classroom instruction and various in-house work placements. Participants receive job coaching, discover and apply their marketable skills, then they get a job in a community business through CCS support.

It is with this sense of commitment to the power of potential that CCS is again making a significant investment in our community. To be promoters of potential is a great thing, and for us as a community organization, to help our youth discover their potential is very rewarding.

The new Evolve Clothing store opened in early May on Industrial Road in Bolton. It is a fabulous store, shopping galore for all ages with incredible finds. More than a store, it has a second floor with a large training classroom for our LIFE For Youth program and for others in Caledon needing support and skills development. I think our new facility will unleash great potential for underserved segments in our community. CCS always pursues innovation; that’s what this community asks of us, yes?

Visit the new Evolve Clothing location soon. Not just because the profits from sales go right back into our community. Not just because there is great fun and satisfaction in finding a gem. Not just because tons of otherwise great clothing is diverted from landfill, providing a green environmental impact. I hope you visit Evolve Clothing because of its potential. You will see its potential to positively impact youth now and in the future. There’s lots in store for this store. As our youth discover it, I just know there’s big things ahead. By supporting Evolve stores in Caledon, you are part of the potential.

Fr. Larry Leger, board member, Caledon Community Services

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